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ERIC Number: ED015501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
THE CAPACITY FOR SELF DIRECTION. WORKING PAPER.
WINTER, SARA K.; AND OTHERS
SELF-DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS WRITTEN BY BUSINESS-SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO WERE SUBSEQUENTLY SUCCESSFUL (N=13) WERE COMPARED WITH THOSE WRITTEN BY STUDENTS UNSUCCESSFUL (N=11) IN ATTAINING PERSONAL CHANGE GOALS DURING SEMESTER-LONG, SELF-ANALYTIC GROUPS. A NEW METHOD FOR SELF-DIRECTED BEHAVIOR CHANGE WAS USED. CONTENT ANALYSIS COMPARISONS OF THE GROUPS REVEALED THREE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES--(1) HIGH-CHANGE SUBJECTS MORE FREQUENTLY STATED GOALS WITH IMPLICIT RECOGNITION THAT THE GOAL HAD NOT YET BEEN ATTAINED, (2) LOW-CHANGE SUBJECTS MORE FREQUENTLY DESCRIBED THEMSELVES WITH LITTLE RECOGNITION OF ALTERNATE POSSIBILITIES, AND (3) LOW-CHANGE SUBJECTS WERE HIGHER IN TENTATIVENESS AND UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THEMSELVES, EXHIBITING IDENTITY DIFFUSION. THESE FINDINGS WERE CROSS-VALIDATED IN A SECOND SAMPLE OF STUDENTS WHO WERE SUCCESSFUL (N=9) AND UNSUCCESSFUL (N=22) IN REACHING THEIR CHANGE GOALS. THE RESULTS SUGGEST THAT SUCCESSFUL SELF-DIRECTED PERSONAL CHANGE IS MOTIVATED BY AWARENESS OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE CREATED WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL COMMITS HIMSELF TO A VALUED GOAL PERCEIVED AS DIFFERING FROM HIS PRESENT BEHAVIOR. THE LOW-CHANGE SUBJECT IS ONE WHO DOES NOT CREATE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE IN THE PROCESS OF SETTING PERSONAL GOALS EITHER (1) BECAUSE THE GOAL IS IMPERFECTLY DIFFERENTIATED FROM PRESENT BEHAVIOR, OR (2) BECAUSE HE CAN TOLERATE AN UNUSUALLY GREAT AMOUNT OF INTERNAL SELF CONTRADICTION WITHOUT EXPERIENCING DISSONANCE. (AUTHORS/SK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge. Alfred P. Sloan School of Management.
Identifiers: MANN WHITNEY U TEST; ROKEACH DOGMATISM SCALE